Movember, the shave-and-grow-a-mustache men’s health fundraising effort, is focusing on men’s mental health issues during November 2020.
The annual campaign calls for males to shave their mustaches on October 30 (although late-entering participants are welcome) and regrow them during November. To accompany sacrificing their facial hair, participants ask friends and family to make donations to men’s mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer causes sponsored by Movember.
“If there has ever been a time to embrace Movember and shave down and then grow a Mo, it is now,” Movember’s U.S. Country Director Mark Hedstrom said via a statement. “It has been an incredibly difficult year, which makes this year’s campaign our most important, yet.”
“Research conducted by Movember shows us the effects of the pandemic on men’s mental health is particularly concerning, and it is still far from over,” Hedstrom added. “Job losses, relationship stresses and social isolation are continuing to take a toll. In response, we’ve been working hard to fast-track digital mental health resources, to address the need.”
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with its U.S. operation based in Los Angeles, the nonprofit raised $82.8 million worldwide during 2019 with $18.2 million raised in the United States.
Movember’s research showed that 42 percent of U.S. men surveyed said nobody had expressed concern for how they were coping during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 21 percent thought their mental health had declined during the first six weeks of the pandemic. Another 27 percent reported increased feelings of loneliness. Just more than one in five were either marginally confident or not at all confident about having a conversation with a friend who might be struggling with the pandemic restrictions.
Mental health has long been a focus of Movember. Globally, one male commits suicide every minute. In the United States, three out of every four suicides are by men, amounting to nearly 38,000 men annually.
Money raised funds a variety of efforts including Movember Conversations, a free online conversation stimulator aimed at fostering difficult discussions among men; mental health grants for veterans and first responders; and the Making Connections initiative, which seeks to improve mental health and well-being among American males.